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  • 2002 Archive

  • Vol. 4, No. 32
    Whole #88
    November 22, 2002

    • A Message from NEHGS Executive Director Ralph J. Crandall
    • New Databases on
    • New Research Articles on
    • The Winter Research Getaway to NEHGS
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • Upcoming NEHGS Library Dates to Note
    • From the Volunteer Coordinator
    • The Pilgrim Hall Museum Celebrates Thanksgiving Online
    • "Remember Me": Six Samplers in the National Archives
    • Favorite Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    A Message from NEHGS Executive Director Ralph J. Crandall

    Dear Friends,

    This is a wonderful time to be a genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Never has so much information been so readily available to those both near and far.

    Two years ago, the Society undertook a significant examination of who we were and where we were going. Nine months of work produced an ambitious Strategic Plan that envisions a Society with expanded services, a larger membership, and significantly increased web-based operations to better serve distant members. Also included in the vision were new technologies, an enhanced publishing program targeting scholarly production, and a genealogically knowledgeable staff.

    The first year of the Strategic Plan is complete, and many positive outcomes are obvious, thanks largely to the $1.1 million raised for last year's Annual Fund. Now serving 20,000 members and sixty-three countries, our web site offers over 7.2 million names for research! Weekly lectures are held in our Boston facility and have steadily high attendance. These funds also have supported our Boston and Framingham staff and volunteers in acquiring exciting new collections, filling the gaps in our core collections, and digitizing new materials. This year we have set a Fund goal of $1.4 million to continue providing the rich array of materials and knowledgeable assistance that characterize NEHGS and to expand into new areas like our Later Immigrant Generations Project.

    With our roots firmly planted in the past, and our future branching in exciting directions, we embrace a vision our predecessors could hardly have imagined. We hope that you, too, will embrace it by continuing to support the Society's visions and goals with a generous gift this year.


    Ralph J. Crandall
    Executive Director

    New Databases on

    Free Database: The Social Security Death Index!

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    Marriages and Baptisms of the Rev. Ivory Hovey of Plymouth, Mass., 1775–1803

    The Reverend Ivory Hovey was the son of Capt. Ivory Hovey and Anne Pingree of Topsfield, Mass. Born July 3, 1714, he was a graduate of Harvard College in 1735. He settled his ministry in the Mattapoisett section of Rochester, Mass., in 1740 and remained there until October of 1769. In April of 1770 he was installed at the Congregational church in Manomet in the town of Plymouth where he remained for the rest of his life. During the first few years of his ministry in Mattapoisett he fell ill and developed an intense interest in medicine. He studied the practice and from then on practiced medicine as much as ministry. In 1737 he served as a private tutor for a family in Biddeford, Maine. There he met Olive Jordan, daughter of Capt. Samuel Jordan and they were married Feb. 8, 1739. They had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Rev. Hovey died Nov 4, 1803, and is buried in Manomet. One of his descendants, Col. (Ret.) George Gordon Bartlett, Jr., donated many of Hovey's papers to NEHGS in 1983 [MSS 68]. Among them was a record of marriages and baptisms performed while Hovey was a minister in Plymouth between 1775 and 1803. The last baptism was recorded just a few weeks prior to his death. For further details on the Rev. Ivory Hovey, see Shipton, Clifford K. Sibley's Harvard Graduates Volume IX 17311735 (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1956), p. 543–548 and Daniel Hovey Association, The Hovey Book Describing the English Ancestry and American Descendants of Daniel Hovey of Ipswich, Massachusetts (Haverhill, MA: Press of Lewis R. Hovey, 1913) p. 114–119.

    Search Marriages and Baptisms of the Rev. Ivory Hovey of Plymouth, Mass.

    Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850, by James N. Arnold, Volumes 15 and 16

    We continue to add new volumes of Arnold's Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850 to our database. Volumes 15 and 16 contain marriage notices from the Providence Gazette and the Providence Semi Weekly Journal as well as marriages and deaths from the United States Chronicle, American Journal, Impartial Observer, and the Providence Journal.

    Search Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636–1850 at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from cemeteries in the towns of Plymouth, Massachusetts; Barrington, Nova Scotia; Delaware, Ontario; and the New Hampshire towns of Concord and East Concord.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Master Search

    Or master search all databases at

    New Research Articles on

    Web Resources for Canadian Research, Part 2
    by Michael J. Leclerc

    Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources
    Notable Descendants of Samuel and Judith (Everard) Appleton
    by Gary Boyd Roberts

    The Winter Research Getaway to NEHGS
    Offered twice this winter: February 27–March 1, 2003 and March 13–15, 2003

    NEHGS invites you to enjoy a research getaway at our library, one of the finest facilities for genealogical research in the country. Escape the winter doldrums by joining us for guided research, personal one-on-one consultations with our esteemed librarians, morning lectures and special access to the library when it is normally closed to the public. All serious genealogists should treat themselves to this special program and enjoy the opportunity to share discoveries and swap stories with other avid researchers from all over the country. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to further your research by visiting our library in Boston. Don’t miss this opportunity to utilize the research expertise of our outstanding library staff and the exceptional resources we have available at our facility.

    Participants of this program will enjoy:
    • A thorough orientation of all four floors of the library
    • Daily lectures on new sources, research and methodology
    • One-on-one personal research consultations and guided research in the NEHGS library
    • A small group (35 people), which allows for plenty of individual attention
    • Quality accommodations just blocks away from the NEHGS library, in a quiet corner in the Copley Square area
    • A special farewell reception in the Richardson-Sloane Education Center

    Program Lectures
    Winter Research Getaway I:
    How to Avoid Mistakes in Genealogical Writing, Henry B. Hoff, CG
    Crossing the Line: The St. Albans INS Records, George F. Sanborn, Jr., FASG

    Winter Research Getaway II:
    Making the Most of Torrey’s New England Marriages, David C. Dearborn, FASG
    Using Cemetery Records for Genealogical Research, David Allen Lambert

    Hotel Accommodations
    The lodging for the Winter Research Getaway will be at the John Hancock Conference Center, near Copley Square, and just three short blocks from NEHGS. This hotel is located in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay district and provides comfortable and quiet rooms, morning coffee service, and guest laundry facilities. There are various restaurants, cafes, shops, and a supermarket nearby, as well as the Boston Public Library.

    If you would prefer to make your own lodging arrangements, you are welcome to join our program as a “commuter.” In doing so, you will still benefit from our program by enjoying the lectures, consultations with our staff, and research time in our library, but will pay a reduced registration fee that does not include lodging.

    Program Fees
    Double: $390
    Single: $590
    Commuter (no hotel provided): $200

    For more information, please contact or call 1-888-286-3447, ext. 226.

    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    The "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Newspaper Sources at the Boston Public Library" by Henry Scannell, curator of microtext and newspapers at the Boston Public Library, on Saturday, November 23

    • "Find Your French-Canadian Ancestors" by Michael J. Leclerc on Wednesday, November 27 and Saturday, November 30

    • "A Good Deed: Important Documents for Your Research" by David Dearborn on Wednesday, December 4 and Saturday, December 7

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m. Advance registration is not necessary.

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit . If you have questions, please call member services at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    Upcoming NEHGS Library Dates to Note

    We have resumed our winter schedule in the NEHGS research library and our Thursday evening hours have been suspended until April. The winter hours are as follows:

    Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9 a.m. — 5 p.m.
    Wednesday: 9 a.m. — 9 p.m.
    Sunday and Monday: — Closed

    Also, please note these special Thanksgiving closings:

    • Wednesday, November 27 — Early closing at 3 p.m.

    • Thursday, November 28 — Closed for Thanksgiving

    For more information about future holiday closings, please visit

    From the Volunteer Coordinator

    We have had such a heartwarming response from members across the country who have volunteered to proofread. Thank you to all of you. We certainly have the work to be done, and I will be in touch with each one of you over the next couple of weeks. Projects have to be prepared, and so I ask for your patience while we allocate work. We are delighted to have this help. It enables the staff to produce services and information for our membership faster than could otherwise be done.

    Our Framingham volunteers enjoyed a lively "brown bag lunch" last week. Quite a large group discussed the projects that were being done there for NEHGS, and there was also some positive comments about the recent trip to Salt Lake City. Volunteers were learning from each other, and I was learning from everyone. We will continue with these get-together lunches; they are a social event, and a good opportunity for genealogical discourse.

    My wishes to all volunteers for an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

    Susan Rosefsky

    The Pilgrim Hall Museum Celebrates Thanksgiving Online

    With Thanksgiving just around the corner, a visit to the Pilgrim Hall Museum website might be just the thing to put you in the proper mindset for the holiday. The Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, features information about the first Thanksgiving as well as two other online exhibits about Thanksgiving topics.

    Visit the section entitled "The 'First Thanksgiving' and the Pilgrims" ( to read the two primary sources that relate the events of autumn 1621 in Plymouth: Edward Winslow's Mourt's Relation and William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation. You can also read a list of the fifty-one Pilgrims who attended the first Thanksgiving.

    An online exhibit, "The Evolution of the Modern Thanksgiving," ( traces the historic roots of Thanksgiving, and provides a chronology of how the holiday has been celebrated over time.

    And finally, the "Thanksgiving and the New England Pie" online exhibit ( will really put you in the mood for a holiday feast. Unlike other traditional Thanksgiving dishes that were added during the Victorian era, the Thanksgiving pie is a holiday tradition that has remained constant since the seventeenth century. The Pilgrim Hall online exhibit celebrates pie in recipes, trade cards, advertising art , and poetry.

    The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

    "Remember Me": Six Samplers in the National Archives

    A new article entitled "'Remember Me': Six Samplers in the National Archives", appears in the fall 2002 issue of the National Archives' magazine Prologue. The author, Jennifer Davis Heaps, discusses six samplers located in Revolutionary War pension files that were used as evidence in documenting claims for pensions related to wartime service.

    The article reviews the needlework tradition and the part samplers played in the lives of young girls, as well as the Revolutionary War pension application process. The article goes on to discuss how each of these six samplers were used as part of pension applications and what has been discovered about the lives of the six sampler makers and their families. The six girls who made the samplers lived in Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and possibly New York, and their samplers were made over a thirty year period from about 1787 to about 1818.

    You can read an online version of this interesting article at

    Favorite Ancestor Feedback

    We continue with reader submissions to the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite ancestor, please send your story in 300 words or less to Lynn Betlock at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    "A short life of many hardships"
    by James W. F. Collins of Beverly, Massachusetts

    My favorite ancestor is my great grandfather, Moses Ferris. How surprised I was to learn his first name. It seemed so unlike James, Robert, Thomas, or William, names which are quite pervasive in the family. On the other hand, there are Joseph, Mary, Samuel, and Moses, so the Bible did contribute.

    Moses was born in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1834, the second oldest in a family of seven. He was a teenager during the potato famine. He worked as a miner, married in 1860, and moved to Scotland. There he worked for the Dalmellington Iron Company, in the Doon Valley southeast of Ayr. Today it is the home of the marvelous Dunaskin Open Air Museum, an industrial heritage site.

    Last June I visited Dunaskin, and climbed the broad windswept ridge behind it. On top were Burnfoot Hill and Lethan Hill, small miners' villages built by the Company. My grandfather was born there. Today "The Hill" is a very desolate place, quiet and serene, known only to ghosts of the past, grazing sheep, and an occasional visitor. Only ruins remain, slowly returning to nature.

    The workers lived in stone and masonry rowhouses, with barely two rooms per family. A half mile away the blast furnaces once roared, belching smoke and fumes twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Life was tough. Some children died young (including two of Moses' own children). Older sons worked in the mines alongside their fathers. Some workers were killed in accidents (including Moses' wife's brother). Somehow Moses raised five children and managed to save enough money to bring his family to America in 1879.

    They settled in Lowell, Massachusetts, where Moses worked as an engine cleaner for the railroad. There was a large Scottish community in Lowell. It is called Ayres City to this day. Most of Moses' extended family came here in the years before and after he came.

    Moses died of (not surprisingly) tuberculosis in 1886, seven years after he came to Lowell. He was fifty-two. Few men today would endure his hardships to provide a better life for their families. His name was quite appropriate.

    Anna Vinal, my matrilineal ancestor
    By Helen C. Sheward of Oakland, California

    Timothy Hatherley, London adventurer, settled in 1632 in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, where the General Court had given him large land allotments. By 1646 he divided his tract, named the Conihassett, into thirty equal shares; three he retained for himself, two he sold to his stepson Joseph Tilden, and the remaining single shares he sold to twenty-four men and one woman.

    I have nine ancestors among the Conihassett partners, but my favorite is shareholder Anna Vinal. Widow of Stephen Vinal with two young sons and a grown daughter, Anna took the unusual step of remaining single and making her own investment in a time and place where widows usually remarried quickly. At her death in 1664 her then-adult sons, Stephen and John Vinal, were given administration of her estate, including the Conihassett share. So Anna Vinal, whose family name I have not been able to discover, and about whom few details exist, lives on today in Scituate town records as the one woman partner among twenty–six men.

    About the time of her Conihassett purchase, Anna's daughter Martha married Isaac Chittenden, producing daughter Sarah, who married Anthony Collomore, whose daughter Mary married Robert Stetson, whose daughter Jeminah married Daniel Damon, whose daughter Jeminah married Thomas Farrow, whose daughter Martha married James Barrell, whose daughter Martha married Elisha Hayden, whose daughter Martha married Amos Hatch Tilden, whose daughter Martha married Howard Tilden, whose daughter Helen married Clifford Callaghan, whose daughter is myself, Helen Callaghan Sheward, making me, proud to say, twelfth from Anna, my matrilineal ancestor.

    " . . . he gave everything he had for the war effort"
    By Douglas W. Cornwell of Royal Palm Beach, Florida

    On both sides of my family tree, I have ancestors who were quite wealthy due to the real estate they owned. On my father's side, my ancestors purchased land from the Native Americans in parts of Flushing (today in the borough of Queens, New York City). During the period of the Dutch colonization of New York (New Amsterdam / New Netherlands), a wealthy female ancestor by the name of Anneke Jans (on my mother's side of the family tree) owned various tracts of land in Manhattan, including, I am told, the land where the Marble Collegiate Church now sits. However, the ancestor whom I most admire is American Revolutionary War patriot Captain Frederick Schoonmaker of Ulster County, New York. Capt. Schoonmaker stood by the principles for which he believed. He supported the effort of the colonists to attain "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." In order to do so, he gave everything he had for the war effort.

    Unlike the greed and selfishness we see today, even exemplified in many of our business and government leaders, Capt. Schoonmaker boldly stood by the war effort. He contributed heavily to the "chain across the Hudson River" that was used to stop the British ships from moving up the river. By financing this and other war efforts, he lost a large part of his wealth. In the years following the war, there were attempts by his descendants to be reimbursed by the U.S. Congress for the money he contributed to the war effort. However, none of the efforts succeeded.

    Most importantly, though, he stood by the principles that had been stated in the Declaration of Independence and later written in the U.S. Bill of Rights and Constitution. His willingness to support the efforts to secure freedom for the American colonists, at all costs, is honorable. In fact, he has been so honored with a plaque in the "Coxing Cemetery between High Falls [New York] and Stone Ridge" that reads: "Capt. Frederick Schoonmaker, Ulster County Patriot, who gave his all to the cause of freedom." My hat is off to my favorite ancestor, Capt. Frederick Schoonmaker.

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